In these days of NSA information gathering, Big Brother seems more and more of a reality than a fantasy. We are all being watched to various degrees. Whether its tracking cookies in our browsers or text messages stored by tel-comm companies there is very little privacy to be had. Even criminals, when the news reports crimes they invariable have a grainy video of the perpetrator shot by a nearby surveillance camera. This is the jumping off point of The City.
A group of programmers is trying to sell the city a full surveillance package run by artificial intelligence. During the demo a mistake happens that makes the deal fall through. The computer doesn’t have the ability to judge and distinguish events like a human. This flaw makes it unsafe to use. One of the programmers gets caught in a terrorist attack on the way to work the next day. He eyes are severely damaged. His partner does something drastic to help.
The City felt in many ways like Robocop. The idea that by adding humanity to the programming you get a better machine. Also in the idea that crime is so out of control it will take a computer to help control it. This story is from a more voyeuristic view. Ben isn’t a cop, he’s a programmer but he’ll play an integral role in getting his machine to succeed. The story was good but I felt it has been told before. I didn’t find much that felt fresh or new. This is only a first issue so they may yet have twists that I can’t foresee.
The art was also good, nothing that stood out but definitely suited to the story it was telling.
I give The City 3 out of 5 starts. While it feels familiar there is potential for some interesting stories to develop. If it’s your type of story it’s worth checking out.
City the Mind In the Machine #1 (of 4)
Writer: Garcia, Eric
Artist: Fernandez, Javi
Cover Artist: Edwards, Tommy Lee
Format: LIMITED SERIES
On Sale February 12, 2014
Publisher: Darby Pop (IDW)
Diamond Id: DEC130471